Over a lifetime of great animal friends, Morgan (my Irish Wolfhound “witch” as I deservedly called her) had some of the finest genes: to stalk, run and hunt, that I have ever seen. God, I was proud of that dog.
On the funny side, we decided early in her life she needed a companion to replace one who had died, and found a male wolfhound rescue, “Finnegan” as it turned out. We brought a tired (four hour car trip) and anxious older guy to a new home to “play with the witch.” As we arrived, the witch was waiting on the back deck. Finnegan got out of the truck, peed for several minutes, then, in typical male fashion trotted over two see his new female. Approaching the deck, in head-up male posture, he was greeted by a female flying through the air, landing on his back. She knocked him flat. From that point the “witch” was in charge.
They, however, made a great pair. Finnegan had lived on a ranch, and while lacking her agility he knew how to hunt. He taught the “witch” how to do it right, and in spite of his age and worn-down gimpiness they lived as a wonderful, free-roaming team. Preditors and prey kept their distance from this bonded pair.
Then, one day Morgan got a rash with her season, and a short time later, on an emergency visit to the vet, we put that beautiful three year-old female to sleep from complications of severe auto-immune disorders. The long and short of it is that she had some rally bad genes that accompanied her great ones — the result of a gene pool that is too small, too ego-driven by line breeders who still refuse to get some needed outcross genes back into the breed.
I guess it is infrequently acceptable to be stubborn, but not in caring for our loyal and generous animal friends — they deserve so much more from us.